Ghana Premier League (GPL) greats Kumasi Asante Kotoko are set to pull out of the 2020/2021 CAF Confederation Cup competition race over financial constraints, ghanasportspage.com can exclusively report.
The Porcupine Warriors are scheduled to host Algerian side E.S Setif in the first leg of the second preliminary round in the Confederation Cup on Sunday in Accra, but the two times African champions, Asante Kotoko have decided to pull out of the competition at the eleventh hour due to financial challenges.
According our reliable sources, the Management of Asante Kotoko held a closed door meeting on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 to take the decision to pull out of the continental assignment. However, the Management are divided over the matter as some of the members believe the club must do everything possible, even if it has to take securing a loan from the bank to ensure that they honour the competition. However, it was conclusively decided at the meeting that the club will NOT play the competition. The Management is currently waiting for the position of the Board of Directors of the club on the matter before the club makes official announcement to the general public.
Barely five days away from kick off in the first leg against E.S Setif in Accra, ghanasportspage.com gathers that the hierarchy of Asante Kotoko will, on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, officially write to the competition organisers, CAF, to notify them of the decision of withdraw from the competition.
One is left wondering why, with just five days away to kick off against E.S Setif, the club is yet to make mention of the match on any of their official platforms. Ordinarily, one would expect that the Porcupine Warriors should be now, have started promoting the match on their social media handles, or at least with a publication on the club’s official website promoting the game, but no such a thing has been done as at the time of filing this report.
Should the reported development turn out to be true, there are sanctions applicable from CAF in accordance with competition Regulations Article 11, under Withdrawal, Disqualification and Renunciation from Playing. The Article states as follows:
1.A national association who registered one or more teams should confirm their engagements to play all the matches of the competition until their elimination.
2.In case of withdrawal of a team, its federation shall be responsible for the financial and other consequencesto be determined by the Organising and Disciplinary Committee of CAF.
3.Any team that withdraws or declines to play the second leg after playing the first leg on its own ground must refund the federation of the visiting team a sum of fifteen thousand (15000) US dollars to repair the injury suffered by the host club.
4.A withdrawal reported after the engagement and before the establishment of the fixtures leads to the loss of the engaged club with an imposed fine of three thousand (3,000) US dollars.
5.A withdrawal reported during the preliminary round is sanctioned with a loss of the entry right as well as a fine of five thousand (5000) U.S. dollars.
6.A withdrawal reported during the Second Preliminary is sanctioned with a loss of the entry right, as well as, a fine of ten thousand (10 000) U.S. dollars.
7.A withdrawal declared by a team after qualifying for the group stage is sanctioned with a loss of the entry right, as well as, a fine of twenty-five miles (25 000) U.S. dollars.8.A withdrawalreported by a team after qualifying to the quarterfinals and the semi-final matches is sanctioned with a loss of the entry right, as well as, a fine of fifty thousand (50 000) U.S. dollars.
9.A withdrawal reported by a team after qualifying to the finalmatch is sanctioned with a loss of the entry right, as well as, a fine of one hundred thousand (100,000) U.S. dollars.
10.Apart from the financial sanctions mentioned in paras 4 to 9 here above, every club withdrawing from the competition or declining to play after the establishment of the fixtures will be forbidden from participating in all CAF inter-clubs competitions for the next two editions following its withdrawal.
11.In case of withdrawal of a team from any round, until the group matches, the opponent which it was scheduled to meet will qualify for the next round
12.If a team withdraws after having been qualified for the group matches it shall be replaced by the last team it has eliminated. In default, the group to which belongs the forfeiting team shall be composed of three teams.13.If a team withdraws after the start of the group matches without having played half of the group matches, the overall results of the matches in which this team participated is canceled.